Dharamshala Packages FAQs
A. As you scour Dharamshala packages, you need to also know the best season for travelling to this hilly destination. Its location in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh lends it with a cool climate through the year. With roads accessible year round bringing in busloads of tourists despite the changing season, you can travel to Dharamshala or Mcleodganj any time of the year. However, the most favourable window of them is the months between March and May when the sunshine is strong during the day and the nights cool. Even October to December is a good time to visit Dharamshala if you’d like to get a taste of its chilly winter. January is the snowfall month; many visit it at this time for the precise reason.
Q. Which is the nearest railway station from Dharamshala?
A. Before you finalise one of the Dharamshala tour packages, you need to figure out your logistics first. Pathankot is the closest railway station about 85 kilometre from Dharamshala. Taxis are readily available from the Pathankot station to travel further. You could even take a state bus - there are private buses too - from Pathankot to Dharamshala. The journey time between the railway station and the hill station is around 3 hours. From Delhi you can take an overnight train directly to Pathankot, and then perhaps take a narrow gauge train further to Kangra. From Kangra too there are taxi and bus services for Dharamshala which is around 20 kilometre away.
Q. How to get around Dharamshala?
A. While Dharamshala travel packages are all-inclusive, you need to be apprised of the local transport system within the hill station. Buses are the most economical option, though they can be the most time-consuming one. Whether it is the state or private buses, both have a long waiting time, besides they make pit-stops almost everywhere. You can rely on an auto-rickshaw to take your around the local sites. They operate on a fixed rate that can vary with the number of attractions you visit. You can travel to the places in the precincts of Dharamshala like Mcleodganj, Dharamkot by a private taxi which you can hail from the government-approved taxi stand near Dharamshala’s Kotwali Bazaar.
Q. What are my eating-out options in Dharamshala?
A. Eating out is an adventure of sorts in Dharamshala because the food here is an interesting smattering of Israeli, Italian, Himachali, Tibetan, and Punjabi cuisine. You will get all these and some European, Japanese and American grub along the way. The presence of foreign tourists make the international cuisine worth trying out here. There are enough authentic Tibetan food joints cooked and served by the Tibetan folks. The popular Himachali street snack ‘bun chhole’ is a must-try on your trip to any destination in the Himachal. The local street vendors do a most amazing job of it.
Q. Are there any shopping options in Dharamshala?
A. From Tibetan woollens, handicraft, crockery, to clothes, the market of Dharamshala is a treasure-trove of Tibetan curios. Look up the exclusive thangka painting and the applique work; they have some very gorgeous painting on wood as well. You will find stores selling silverware, rugs, Tibetan religious items, some truly cosy woolens among others. Dharamshala and Mcleodganj are the places to buy some truly beautiful stoles and scarves with intricate thread-work, lampshades and of course the thangkas. Almost every souvenir shop along the road would stock Buddha statues, prayer flags and singing bowls.
Q. What are the places to visit in Dharamshala?
A. There is much to explore in Dharamshala and its neighbourhood. Over a course of 4-5 days, you can split your time between Lower Dharamshala, Dharamkot and of course Mcleodganj. If you have more time at hand you can head up to Bir Billing, Dalhousie and Palampur. But within Dharamshala its worth exploring the tapestry of monasteries owing to its importance in the Tibetan religion and culture. Visit Tsuglagkhang monastery, Gyuto monastery, Namgyal monastery. Don’t miss the Bhagsu Waterfall and Shiva Cafe, Dal Lake, Sunset Point, and Tibet Museum.
Q. What is the best time for trekking in Dharamshala and Mcleodganj?
A. The October to November window is the best to go on a trek in both the upper and lower reaches of Dharamshala because the monsoon rains have just petered off leaving the hill slopes green and lush. Since winter is yet to set in, there is a pleasantness in the air that is a far cry from the scorching summer days making trekking easier and full of photography opportunities.
Q. What is the mobile connectivity like in Dharamshala?
A. Being an important city in the Himachal and also a part of the central government’s ‘smart city project’, you will come across fairly decent internet and mobile reception in Dharamshala. Most major operators like Vodafone, Airtel, Jio offer services in the land of the Dhauladhar ranges.
Q. Are there enough ATMs in Dharamshala?
A. Yes, there are several ATMs in Dharamshala and Mcleodganj. In Dharamshala you will find ones by the State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Sind Bank, IDBI Bank, HDFC Bank among others. It is always better to carry sufficient cash with you especially if you are travelling in the weekend because the ATMs could get very busy, and sometimes even run out of cash.
Q. Can I go on Triund Hill trek from Dharamshala?
A. To make the most of the Dhauladhar ranges, a trek to Triund is warranted. The Triund trek trail is about 8 kilometre from Dharamshala, and you can easily take a taxi to it. A relatively easy trek that can be carried out by amateur trekkers as well, it takes you through misty trails where you can see glistening meadows, herds of sheep, and some truly awe-inspiring mountain scenery. Most people camp in Triund under a starry sky and wake up to a breathtaking sunrise before commencing their return journey. You will pass a temple to local deity Galu Devi along the way.